Entering the cave it was quite dark, rather… I couldn’t see at all. Aizen did not seem to be able to see either, considering I just heard a dull sound next to me and a cute ‘Ku.’ sound. I assume she ran into a rock or something when we were walking. I don’t have night-vision nor an item that produces light. I mean in-game all characters had this mysterious perk. When you went into a dark area you could ever so slightly see. And there were no items that had innate glow, I did not have a source of light. I am at loss.
We were slowly walking further into the cave. It took a few minutes, but I began to hear some type of snorting. As we were getting closer to that sound.
“WHO DARES TO ENTER MY TERRITORY?!”
I heard a thunderous scratchy voice that had enough force to make the rocks rumble. Suddenly the whole room was filled with a warm orange light. It was Aizen’s flame. For whatever reason, it was coming out of her hand… Wait… she could always use the flame, yet she literally ran into something earlier? I mean I am pretty sure she even made a cute sound when she hit it.
Looking back at the red dragon, I noticed he shrank at the sudden light however he quickly fixed his gaze on Aizen.
“Two little girls dare to invade this majestic dragon’s territory?!” The dragon exclaimed.
“Majestic? You?! Don’t make me laugh.” Aizen said in a cold voice with crossed arms. For some reason, the dragon shrank yet again, turning his head towards the wall and started mumbling something.
Suddenly he turned back to us with piercing eyes.
“I don’t know who are you. To speak the language of the dragons... But… A HUMAN IS JUST A HUMAN!” The dragon seemed enraged. I think he felt intimidated by Aizen? Although language of the dragons? He sounds pretty normal to me aside from the whole. 'Human is just a human.' I think I have heard that before, Hmm...
“And you are just a pitiful low-tier dragon. You don’t even have wings, aren’t you basically a lizard at this point?” She completely destroyed the lizard.
I mean looking again at the dragon it doesn't have wings, how could I miss something so obvious? Although I can see two protruding black horns on his forehead.
The dragon was having none of it and was looking at her with bloodshot eyes. When the dragon was leaning his body back to jump onto us Aizen raised her finger as always, and pointed it at him. However, she did not cast a spell. I glanced at the dragon again waiting for his pounce however, he was uncontrollably shaking and was moving his hulking body back until he hit the wall behind him.
“W-who a-are you?” The trembling dragon talked in a quite submissive and soft voice. Aizen did not answer and just kept her finger pointed at him. The dragon started shaking more and more, after a few seconds she talked in an amused voice.
"Oh, looks like you are not a Lizard after-all, seeing you can actually see what was going to happen if you decided to attack us." Wait I don't get this at all?!
"T-That mana of yours… H-How…" The docile dragon answered my question in a trembling voice.
'So something like mana perception?' I muttered trying to reach an answer.
"Well Lizard, we have come here to kill you…" She paused. The dragon's eyes went blank listening to her cold voice. "But… I have an offer." Aizen added, I could've sworn the dragon breathed a sigh of relief however dragons cannot do that. I think?
"W-What's your offer?" The dragon timidly asked.
"Become her summon."
"Eh?" I let out a stupid sound. Aizen was pointing her finger at me.
What do you mean my summon? I mean I certainly would not mind having a summon again but…
"Is this some kind of joke?! I will serve you, but... her?! What makes her so special?!" The dragon angrily retorted.
"Well, listen here Lizard. I am following her, I was her servant at one point so it is now your turn." She said in a firm voice however there is something that bothers me. Servant? Weren't we friends? I need to ask Aizen later.
The dragon hearing Aizen leaned his face down and looked at me. The dragon sighed? And spoke in a firm tone.
"I shall serve you. Girl with weird eye colors. However, you have the summoner class right?"
"Well let's begin the contract." Aizen chimed in and gave me a piece of paper. It was a standard written contract. Normally contracts would be verbal, but you could always use a piece of paper. However, there was something quite specific. Normally when a summon is dismissed they go where they used to be. However this one had a location specified. I decided to ask Aizen about it.
"Where does the location lead to?"
"My old cave." Aizen said with puffed up chest and then turned to the dragon.
"You lizard will live in that cave now. Kill humans that enter, simple enough right? If you are ever in danger I even included that you can forcefully summon yourself once. Be thankful. However, in doing so we will act accordingly, therefore don't summon yourself on a whim or you might die." Aizen informed the dragon ending her speech with a cold voice. The dragon visibly gulped.
"Do you accept these terms? If so please touch my hand." I monotonously said while extending my hand towards him. 'This is how contracts were done right?' As I inwardly questioned myself I felt a raspy and dry sensation in my hand. I was touching the dragon's head.
"I accept the terms." I heard the dragon's somewhat quiet voice. Then I felt a warm sensation on my hand, soon enough a layer of bright white-light covered the dragon and then dissipated into the air. The contract was complete however, I needed a name to call him for summon before I dismiss him sending him to Aizen's mountain or whatever.
"Your name will be Fifi." I gave the dragon a glorious name that he should be proud of.
"You are now dismissed." I interrupted the dragon as he was about to protest. A magic circle formed below the dragon and started to swallow him. It did not look enjoyable at all, for some reason he did not speak. But I did see how he made a futile struggle, to try to not be swallowed by the circle. Inevitably, he ended up disappearing with the magic circle.
"Well, I guess that does it" I casually said. But I remembered something.
"By the way. Aizen what did you mean by servant."
I decided to ask Aizen about earlier, however, she took a step back and had a confused face as if saying 'Isn't it obvious?' however, I did not get it at all so I kept looking at her.
"Kuro, I mean Yami. A contract is a master and servant thing." She said in a somewhat cold tone.
"Well yeah, but I never really considered you a servant. I always saw you as a companion. And sometimes even as a friend." I answered the obvious. I noticed Aizen was frozen hearing this.
“You really are stupid sometimes...” Her tone was soft and I noticed she was wiping her eyes with her sleeve. Seeing her reaction made me realize something. I placed my hands on her shoulders while trying not to get burnt by the fire on her hand.
“Aizen, I do not think of anyone as my servant. Not even Fenri, just keep that in mind.”
“Nn.” Aizen nodded with warm eyes. Suddenly the light dissipated and I could no longer feel the heat to my side. I felt something else. It was warm, she was… Hugging me. I followed and lovingly whispered to her ear.
However, instead of saying something, she hugged me tighter. I began to feel her ever so slight shaking. ‘She said she was just a girl, not a dragon… While I cannot deny or confirm that… I don’t know if you are fine like this or want to return but... I will try to help. I don't know what happened in the last thirty years, but now I am here.’ With those thoughts, I started patting her back. This continued for a while until she stopped trembling and separated herself from me while doing so our faces brushed and I felt something wet on my cheek. However, she did not say anything. I heard some cloth rubbing and then the warm-orange light was back.
“Are we going now?” She said trying to sound cold but her eyes were warm and she had a faint-smile plastered on her face and her cheeks were slightly pink.
“Nn.” I nodded and started walking next to her.
After a few minutes. I remembered something.
“What experiment did you want to try?” I asked her out of curiosity.
“Well remember that Lizard? They are actually incapable of human language however, I wanted to try to see if the [Translation] skill worked with intelligent beings. Also, I wanted to see if it recognized me. It didn’t so I guess it was a failure in that aspect?” She said nonchalantly. It did make sense, although I never really bothered with such things. Horned-dragons were in the game but they only roared so yeah…
Aizen extinguished her flame. We could see the exit of the cave now, I could see the starry night sky. And before I could appreciate the beautiful glittering night, I began to hear some voices although I could not quite make out what they were saying. As we were getting closer I heard Dan and Ari arguing.
“They will come back!”
“Listen Ari. I need to report that they died.”
“No! They will come back!”
Ari kept persuading with unwavering will.
We could see them now. Dan seemed to be ready to go with his backpack but Ari was tugging on him. Fenri was soundlessly sleeping next to them.
“Umm. We are here.” I timidly said while raising my hand. They stopped arguing and turned hurriedly turned their heads our way. Before I got time to react Ari was already rubbing her head against my chest.
“Yami, Dan is mean! She said you won’t be coming back.” Her voice was childish.
“I am a man!” Dan suddenly exclaimed, he was slowly walking towards us.
Aizen tilted her head hearing what Dan exclaimed. Eventually, he made his way in front of us.
“First I want to apologize for claiming you are dead. Second. What happened to the dragon?”
Dan talked in an emotionless tone for some reason I guess that is his professional voice or something.
“Ah, about the dragon. Well, he is no longer here however, he is not quite dead.” I said while scratching the back of my head. I sort of smiled while looking at him.
“Well, if he is still alive then you basically failed your request.” Dan said in a cold voice.
“The dragon became a summoned beast.” Aizen said while standing next to me.
“Is it yours?” Dan asked Aizen however, she just shook her head and pointed at me. Dan kept switching glances between me and Fenri. Eventually nodding.
“I don’t get it at all.” Dan casually declared.
“Ah I guess, It is easier to explain it.” I nonchalantly said and separated Ari from me seeing she was still glued onto me. I turned towards the cave and began my chant. it wasn’t really a chant though.
“Come forth Fifi.” A red magic circle formed on the ground and the horned-dragon stood there.
“WHO ARE YOU CALLING FIFI! WHAT IS WITH THAT NAME?!” Fifi was stomping the ground while shouting at me. However, I just shrugged it off and looked at Dan. His mouth was wide-open however he closed it after a few seconds and turned around while putting his hand on his chin I could hear some murmurs from him. He sighed and loosened his shoulders then turned to us.
“I can see why Ari wasn’t worried at all now. The quest will be marked as complete. I will see what I can do regarding the no-trace disappearance.” Dan tiredly said.
“I AM TALKING HERE!” Fifi was still complaining behind me.
“You can go now. Dismissed.”
“WA-.” Fifi was swallowed by the magic circle that ends conversations. I saw his futile resistance but I shrugged seeing it did not concern me.
I walked to Ari she seemed to be calm unlike earlier. I started hugging her like I should’ve, and whispered to her.
“I am sorry for making you worried.”
“I wasn’t worried at all…”
She said in a dead yet distant tone, like if she was thinking about something else. After giving her a few head-pats which seemed to brighten her face a bit. I decided to not ask her about what was going on.
“Well… We cannot go back now.” Dan said while looking at the sky and interrupting our warmness.
“So I think we should camp.” Dan suggested.
“”Nn.”” Ari and I nodded. However.
“We should camp inside the cave!” Aizen excitedly said. We all awkwardly nodded from her weird behaviour, but ending up going into the cave. However, Dan stopped us and pulled out a torch and then placed it on the ground. He pulled out two hand-sized gray rocks that had a slight brown tint. He started smashing them together next to the torch to create sparks.
After lighting up the torch, he put away the rocks back into his backpack and lifted our new light source. He suddenly asked.
“Now that I think about it, how did you girls see inside here?”
“Like this.” Aizen nonchalantly answered after making some of her trademark fire.
“Oh, a mage?! You must have graduated from the magic academy in the capital?”
Dan sounded somewhat excited however, Aizen just tilted her head in confusion. I noticed Ari was somewhat stiff after hearing the word capital.
“Oh… You are one of those self-taught mages?! I can give you a recommendation letter to the academy.” Dan suddenly and excitedly offered Aizen.
“Umm, we are not planning to go to the capital. What can we find there anyways?” I joined the conversation and asked Dan. He tilted his head, however, his eyes sparkled after a second and started talking.
“Well, seeing you girls are adventurers I am sure you would be interested in better gear. In the capital, you can find the best materials and craftsmen.” Hearing this there is no doubt about it.
“Aizen, we are going to the capital.” I said while holding her shoulders, she made a wry smile and nodded.
“Umm… Do we really have to go.” A voice joined in, It was Ari, however, her voice was quiet.
“Why shouldn’t we go?” I firmly asked Ari.
“Well… Umm… T-that is where I became a slave.” She quietly said while fidgeting with visible nervousness.
“Don’t worry Ari. Aizen and I said we would protect you.” I reassured her and her face brightened, however, it turned somewhat sour aftewards.
“If you say so... Then I guess there is no problem.” She quietly said.
“Well, it’s settled then. I will make a recommendation letter when I can.” Dan enthusiastically said while walking into the cave. We followed soon after.
We continued walking until we arrived at the spacious cavity in which the dragon resided in. Dan dropped his bag on the ground and started taking what seemed like sleeping bags. He gave Ari and me one. He also tried to give one to Aizen however, she heartlessly declined... Instead, she went to a corner of the room and curled into a ball like always. However, I could see her face. And she was smiling for some reason. ‘Could it be that she is happy to sleep in a cave once again?’ I muttered in speculation. Fenri quietly followed us into the cave and decided to sleep next to Aizen.
Dan slept on his own sleeping bag and turned off the torch once we were all ready to sleep. Ari was next to me. I knew she was awake because I could hear fabric rubbing from her fidgeting. I worriedly whispered to her.
“Ari, if you don’t want to go to the capital just say so.”
She rolled over to face me. However, I could not see her face I could only feel her warm breath.
“It’s not like that… I am fine with going to the capital but... “ She suddenly stopped.
“Yami are you really fine with me coming along? Why do the two of you take me along? At times I just feel like I am just a nuisance. Besides I-I-”
I interrupted her whispering.
“Ari, I am fine with you. I might look fine, however, Aizen and I have our own secrets and problems. You helped me stay on my path or rather... You helped me find a new path at the end of the path I was in... If I hadn’t met you I probably would just exist. You gave me a reason to do something else, so please accept it.”
I answered truthfully. If I hadn’t met Ari, especially after ‘resurrecting’ or whatever. I honestly don’t know what I would’ve been doing. The ‘shock’ of becoming a girl was there but what after I organized my thoughts. I probably would’ve settled on a town or something and sold items to make a living and just live. Although I feel like Ari for thinking about this... But, who is she? I am sure she is not normal even as a ten-year-old. I might have blindly trusted her information but she is certainly smart. I do not think what she said is a lie at all.
I heard some fabric brushing and then… I felt something behind me. it was Ari, she slowly slid into my sleeping bag and began tightly hugging me. I could feel my back become somewhat warm.
"If that's how it is, then... I feel somewhat similar." She whispered that to me. However, I did not understand what she meant.
‘Ah well. Looks like it’s resolved now.' I dismissed the whole situation in my thoughts. 'However, I wonder what we will find in the capital. I want to see if there is a new metal I don’t know about. I want to see something exciting there!’ As I joyously thought. I began to feel Ari’s strength lessen. I think she fell asleep. Ahh, I am looking forward to what is about to come.
Although I think it is my time as well. I turned towards Ari and started hugging her, mostly because Ari was pressing my tail through my cloak against my back. Which made me quite uncomfortable. I closed my eyes although it felt weird… Mostly because. Having open or closed eyes all I could see darkness. A few minutes went by and after my brain was over the weird feeling, my eyelids started to feel heavy. I carefully yawned trying to not wake Ari up. I ended up falling asleep shortly after.
Yes. Votes: 12 4.7%
Absolutely. Votes: 45 17.7%
It's cute. Votes: 38 15.0%
It was funny . Votes: 58 22.8%
I frankly think you aren't even trying with the names. What are you even doing?!/s Votes: 30 11.8%
No. Votes: 6 2.4%
Smoothie. Votes: 24 9.4%
Crepe. Votes: 41 16.1%